Who Is Promising What on Food Additives?

Food is changing rapidly. In 2015 alone, more than ten major food manufacturers and restaurants made public commitments to reduce or eliminate artificial flavors and colors from their brands. The drivers behind these announcements range from FDA notices to growing public concerns about specific additives and demands for improved transparency.

With so much movement in the marketplace, we decided to keep and make available a tally of the public commitments made by grocers, restaurants and food manufacturers on food additives.

As more companies revisit their policies and practices, EDF is sharing a Blueprint for Safer Food Additives that helps businesses achieve leadership in this space. Companies need to move beyond marketing responses to the latest consumer survey or social media campaign. Building consumer confidence and securing true leadership involves going beyond just what is legal towards policies that promote continuous improvement.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions to improve the list — especially if we have missed a company.

Grocers – National and Regional (in chronological order)

NameProducts AffectedAdditives Removed or BannedDate of CommitmentEffective Date
Whole FoodsAll products> 70 artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners, and questionable ingredients1980 and growing1980
Trader Joe’sPrivate labelArtificial flavors, preservatives and colors, MSG, and artificial trans-fat20072007
SafewaySelect private labelNo artificial flavors, colors or preservatives2011 January2011 January
KrogerSelect private label> 100 artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners, and questionable ingredients20122012
TargetPrivate label> 90 ingredients including artificial colors, flavors and preservatives2013 June2013 June
ALDISelect private label> 125 artificial ingredients and preservatives20142014
SuperValuPrivate label> 100 ingredients2015 February2015 February
MeijerSelect private label> 120 artificial ingredients including flavors, colors and preservatives2016
Giant/Stop and Shop (Ahold Delhaize)Private label>95 Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives2016 February2016 February
Food Lion/Hannaford (Ahold Delhaize)Private label>95 Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives2016 February2016 February
H-E-BSelect private label>200 synthetic ingredients2016 September2016 September
ShopRitePrivate Label>100 ingredients including artificial additives, flavors and preservatives2016 December2016 December
TargetChildren's private label foodArtificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners and colors2017 July2018 December
Hy-VeeSelect private label>200 artificial ingredients or synthetic chemicals2017 August2018 July

Restaurants – National and Regional

NameProducts AffectedAdditives Removed or BannedDate of CommitmentEffective Date
ChipotleFood it makesOnly uses a narrow list of ingredients that excludes artificial flavors and colors1993Ongoing
PaneraFood it makes> 100 artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners, and other unnecessary ingredients20142015 December
McDonald’sChicken – Grilled artisanArtificial flavors, colors and preservatives2015 April2015 April
Pizza HutNationally available pizzasArtificial flavors and colors, MSG, artificial trans fats, and, in meatballs, artificial preservatives 2015 May2015 July
Taco Bell95% of core food itemsArtificial flavors and colors and added trans fat. 2015 May2015 December
Papa John’sPizza it makes> 75 artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners, and questionable ingredients2015 June2016 December
SubwayFood it makesArtificial flavors, colors and preservatives2015 JuneUncertain
Noodles & CompanyFood it makes> 75 artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners and other unnecessary ingredients2015 October2015 October

Food Manufacturers – National

NameProducts AffectedAdditives Removed or BannedDate of CommitmentEffective Date
Hershey’sMost chocolate brandsArtificial flavors and colors2015 February2015 December
NestleChocolate candy, some beverages, and frozen pizza and snacksArtificial flavor and colors (chocolate candy), Artificial flavors and colors (some beverages), Artificial flavor (frozen pizza and snacks)2015 Feb, April, June2015 December
Kraft HeinzMacaroni and cheese (original only)Artificial flavors, colors and preservatives2015 April2015 December
General MillsBranded cerealsArtificial flavors and colors from artificial sources2015 June90% by 2016 December
Campbell’sSoupsArtificial flavors and colors2015 July2018 December
Kellogg’sBranded cereals, some snack foods and some frozen foodsArtificial flavors and colors2015 August2018 December
MarsAll productsArtificial colors2016 February2021 February
Panera at HomeRefrigerated soup, mac& cheese, pasta, salad              dressings in addition to artisan frozen bread, sliced sandwich bread and coffee> 100 artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners, and other unnecessary ingredients2016 June2016 December

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